Politics & Policy

Illinois A.M. Roundup

Gubernatorial Race

  • Bill Brady calls out Pat Quinn for being a union shill in a closed event. Gov. Quinn, meanwhile, claims his recent deal with the unions to avoid layoffs will actually bring them to heel. The same way adding trillions to the deficit will balance the budget, probably.

  • Americans for Tax Reform has a devastating hit on Quinn’s union deal, meanwhile, suggesting that it’s typical Democratic union politics:

We try to keep it PG-13 on the ATR blog, so it will be difficult for me to give a straightforward assessment of Pat Quinn’s credentials as Governor of Illinois. Suffice it to say I don’t think he is a particularly honest, principled, or intelligent man. I’ve already said too much.

The latest chink in his armor is the absurd deal he is about to make with Illinois’ public employee unions. The agreement will bar the governor or his successor from laying off any public employees for two years.

Kristina Rasmussen at the Illinois Policy Institute has the depressing details contrasting Quinn’s approach to that of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The “compromise” calls for a paltry $50 million in cuts in labor spending, much of which would be eroded by a promised 7.25 percent wage bump in the name of cost of living — in a time of nearly zero inflation.

And it’s not as if public employee unions are hurting for income. On average, Illinois government workers earned 15.7 percent more than their private sector counterparts in 2008 (see page 92).It’s not as if this is anything new for Gov. Quinn. His original FY 2011 budget actually called for a 2,665 employee increase in the public sector payroll. Rather than rein in the size of government, he would rather impose a crippling $6 billion income tax increase. Or $4 billion. Or maybe $3 billion. Whatever.

Senatorial Race

  • American Crossroads goes after Alexi Giannoulias with a mocking new ad. The ad is ”private” on Youtube, but the Los Angeles Times has a good summary of its contents here.

  • But Giannoulias has big guns of his own — like Michelle “It’s Hell” Obama, who will be campaigning for him and some House candidates:

First lady Michelle Obama will visit Chicago on Oct. 13 to help raise money for state Democrats leading up to the Nov. 2 mid-term elections.

Obama will appear at a fundraiser for Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias and at a joint fundraiser for Reps. Bill Foster and Debbie Halvorson and House candidate Dan Seals, her office announced today.

  • Not to mention the DSCC, which has a new ad out slamming Mark Kirk for…being rich? Coming from a purple district? Singlehandedly causing the financial crisis? I’m not even going to try to figure the confused messaging out:

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Republican Senate hopeful Mark Kirk’s political allies aren’t relunctant about calling their Democratic opponent a “failed mob banker.” Just don’t expect to hear Kirk use that description of Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Kirk refused to characterize his opponent with the same language Illinois Republicans employ. Instead, he says the Giannoulias family’s failed bank lent “tremendous money to convicted felons and mobsters.”

House Races

  • Jan Schakowsky, possibly the most liberal Democrat in the Congress, is having trouble in IL-9 against Republican challenger Joel Pollak, who has (somehow) gotten backing from both Alan Dershowitz and Paul Ryan. As such, she’s trying to debate her way out of the situation.

  • …And Democrats are trying desperately to make the heavily Jewish district forget that Jan Schakowsky is not so friendly to Israel.

  • Meanwhile, Debbie Halvorson, incumbent Democrat from IL-11 is in more trouble for being connected to yet another person carrying Nazi=Palin signs.

  • The NRCC is more disciplined with its attacks. It has three new ads out today, one of which mentions Halvorson:

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